Gujarati recipes are different from other kinds of regional Indian recipes, where small amount of sweetness is added in almost all the dishes. Also, Gujarati cuisine is strictly vegetarian, where the food is served traditionally on silver platters with wheat breads and rice. Though Gujarat states in India has been highly influenced by the foreigners, yet the basic Gujarati recipes carry the same appeal of little sweetness. Gujarati food is considered to be different as compared to other Indian foods due to its sweet and salty mixture. In geographic terms, Gujarat has been separated into four different regions. The climatic differences in different regions of Gujarat have resulted in a slight variation in preparation method and eating habits in different regions.
Gujarati Cuisine – Regional Variations
In North Gujarat region, Gujarati Thali is highly popular, which consists of dal, rice, curry, sprouted beans, vegetables, farsan, chutney, raita and pickle. Here oil is used in a very cautious manner and the food is not much spicy. The farsan in North Gujarati Thali may vary from Dhokla, khandvi, khaman and pathara.
In Kathiawad, the most popular foods include sweetmeats (prepared with gur), pulses, and pickles, where pulses dominate the region. Favorite Gujarati recipes in kathiawad region include phafda (flour puri flavored with omum), methia masala (dry powder prepared with salt, chilly powder and fenugreek seeds), and debras (a wheat flour dish prepared by mixing together wheat, green chilies, spinach, slat, sugar and yogurt) which is usually consumed with chhundo (sweet and hot mango pickle).
Popular Gujarati recipes in Kutch region include khichdi (mainly eaten with yogurt based kadhi, khaman dhokla (salty and steamed cake), shrikhand (yogurt based dessert flavored with cardamom, candied fruits, nuts, and saffron) eaten along with hit puris, and doodhpak (thickened sweet milk).
South Gujarati cuisine is enriched with lot of fruits and green vegetables, due to huge rainfall. The food is very simple, but has exotically unique taste. Vegetables creations known as paunk and undhyoo are the popular Gujarati recipes in this region. Bakery items like gharis, saglu baglu sweet and nanakhatais are very famous in Surat, a region in south Gujarat.
Gujarati Cuisine – Popular Gujarati Recipes
This is one of the most popular Gujarati recipes, which is not only loved by Gujaratis, but is also loved all over India. A mix of curd, water, salt, green chilis, ginger, turmeric powder, and gram flour is prepared in the form of smooth batter, and placed in a greased pan after adding a little amount of lemon juice and baking soda to allow the mixture to swell and enhance the flavor of dhokla. The pan is then placed in cooker or steamer with some water at the bottom and dhokla is cooked for a few minutes, allowed to cool, and cut into square shaped or triangle shaped pieces. A mix of hot oil, curry leaves and mustard seeds is prepared and sprinkled over dhokla, one of the most admired Gujarati recipes, before serving it with green chilis and green chutney.
Khandvi is also one of the favorite Gujarati recipes of many people and is considered to be a wonderful snack item. It is delicious and appealing dish prepared with curd, gram flour, tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chilies, and sesame seeds, and garnished with chopped coriander and shredded coconut.
Famous Gujarati Dishes
Kharibhat, khatta meetha bhaat, biraj pulav, and doodh pulav are some of the rice varieties popular in Gujarat. The khari bhat is a masala rice dish, while the biraj is a sweet rice dish with nuts. Doodh pulav is made with rice, milk, curd, vegetables, and spices. The thepla is a gujarati spiced paratha made with wheat flour, curd, and chilli powder.
Some of the famous Gujarati desserts are soan papdi, khaja, shrikand, and basundi. Soan papdi are sweet flakes made with flour, ghee, and sugar. Shrikand and basundi are prepared with milk and sugar.
Bhajiya, khakhra, bhajri vada, dahi vada, ghughra, and rice khichu are eaten as snacks in this region. The khakhra is a crispy flat bread, which is often served with dips or chutneys. Ghughra is a crescent-shaped fried snack stuffed with peas, coconut, and spices.